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Retail Design Trends: Stores of the Future

Thursday, October 10, 2019 By Niki Schillero

As consumers, we’re all familiar with the traditional retail store model – one operating on an antiquated framework that fuels customer experience pain points such as: long check-out lines, limited availability, low or out-of-stock inventory, and unhelpful store associates.

In addition to these pain points, evolving shopping habits and increased customer expectations are forcing traditional brick-and-mortar retailers to rethink the in-store experiences they are providing.

In order to survive in this highly competitive landscape, it’s vital that retailers begin leveraging technology as a way to focus on convenience and personalization for their shoppers; providing tailored in-store experiences that seamlessly complement what is being delivered on-line.

Welcome to the Store of the Future.

Meet the Technology Shaping New Retail Design Trends

At the rate technology is advancing, Stores of the Future are filled with endless possibilities. However, with this seemingly infinite number of applications, it’s important to choose wisely.
Be sure to take the following into consideration:
  • Which solution is the best for your brand and customer base?
  • What are you solving for and why?

Here are a few recent applications of technology from early adopters that might spark inspiration for your Retail Design Trends - Store of the Future:
  • Walmart’s New Shopping Experience
Walmart rolled out a “Store of the Future” Shopping experience similar to AmazonGo. However, unlike AmazonGo’s grab and go concept, the application of AI cameras covers 50,000 square feet of retail space and focuses more on inventory control vs. cashier-less transactions.

The Intelligent Retail Lab — or “IRL” for short — uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) cameras to monitor inventory levels throughout the store, providing store associates with real-time notifications on items that need to be re-stocked, shopping cart availability, and the expiration dates on perishable products in the store.

The goal of this technology is to give store associates more time to interact with customers rather than patrolling aisles to see if items need to be re-stocked.
  • Kroger’s New Smart Shelf Technology – Kroger Edge
Kroger knows their customers feel special when things are personalized for them, which is one of the main reasons they’ve introduced a smart-shelf technology, or Electronic Shelf Labels (ESLs), into their stores.

The cloud-based signage solution, which was developed in a partnership with Microsoft, removes the need for printed price tags, cardboard promos and extra bright lighting that’s normally needed to show the paper tags.

When one of their customers visits a smart-shelf with Kroger’s mobile app open, the sensors on the ESL automatically recognize that the app is open and display the products in which the user may be interested in based upon their previous shopping behavior. Pricing, quality and other requirements are kept in mind by the algorithm the labels take into consideration before displaying the items within the app. This gives a unique and time-saving experience to the customer.
  • Lowe’s New Support Robot – The LoweBot
Lowe’s has been testing robots inside their stores in an effort to help customers find goods that they’re searching for. LoweBot can be described as a rolling kiosk that not only helps customers conduct a product lookup, but it escorts them to where the products can be found physically in the store.

According to Lowe’s, LoweBot is expected to add a layer of support to amplify the trusted advice of Lowe’s associates as it assists customers with simple questions, giving more time for employees to focus on delivering their project expertise and personalized service in other departments.

On top of the extra support, LoweBot is also able to help detect patterns or gaps as it scans inventory and captures real-time data that will help influence future business decisions. 


For brick-and-mortar retailers, the battle to win customers on personalization and experience is in Retail Design Trends, Store of the Future.

While this won’t happen overnight, evaluating the technology and installation needs for a new retail design must start now. It should be noted that most facilities aren’t currently equipped to run the technology needed to support a Store of the Future, therefore additional planning and support will be needed.

That’s where we come in!

With our lighting, electrical, controls, and IoT installation experience – Illumetek can help transform your facilities into Stores of the Future. Feel free to contact us at hello@illumetek.com, or find some of our team members on LinkedIn.


Filed under: Digital, Retail, Trends

About Illumetek

Illumetek is a National Program Management company facilitating installs, updates, compliance and rebates for Lighting, Electrical, and associated Controls. If you have additional questions regarding LED lighting technology or design, please feel free to contact us anytime.

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Illumetek is a National Program Management company facilitating installs, updates, compliance and rebates for Lighting, Electrical, and associated Controls. Contact us today!